The 4 Best Free Police Scanner Apps

Listen to police scanners online

Illustration of a person tapping on a phone with a police badge and

 Derek Abella @Lifewire

A police scanner app lets you listen to live broadcasts from law enforcement and fire department feeds. Unlike a traditional police scanner that requires a radio in close proximity, police scanners that access the internet are available for anyone with the right app or website link.

You can download a police scanner app for free to listen to emergency situations wherever you may be and for whatever reason. If you want to follow breaking news or are just curious about what's going on in your neighborhood, you can do so with one of these apps that connect you directly to live police feeds.

of 04

5-0 Radio Police Scanner: Learn Short Codes While You Listen

5-0 police scanner app for iPhone

 Jerri Collins

What We Like

  • Finding the top 100 scanner feeds is easy

  • Lets you browse for local feeds among all the others

  • Police feeds can be added to your list of favorites for easy access again later

  • Shows location-specific code meanings

  • Includes access to online radio stations

What We Don't Like

  • Free version has lots of advertisements

One way to get a free police scanner is with the 5-0 Radio Police Scanner app. While it does make you watch ads occasionally, it gives you access to lots of feeds all around the world and includes the code meanings on the same screen as the feed.

You can get the pro app for more police feeds, no ads, a sleep timer/alarm, a siren noise maker, weather feeds, and other features.

of 04

Scanner Radio: Get Alerts When Something Big Is Happening

Screenshot of Scanner Radio police app for iPhone

 Jerri Collins

What We Like

  • Get alerts when a certain number of people are listening to a police scanner of your choice

  • Get alerts when Broadcastify reveals that there's an alert on the scanner

  • The police scanner can turn off automatically with a sleep timer

  • Police feeds can be browsed by ones near you, the top 50, location, and source (e.g., ScanBC, RailroadRadio, Broadcastify)

What We Don't Like

  • Police codes are included but they're not local to the feed

One thing that sets the Scanner Radio app apart from the other police scanners in this list is that you can set up mobile alerts to get notified when lots of people are listening to a specific feed, which usually indicates increased activity on the scanner.

of 04

Broadcastify: Stream Police Radio Feeds From Any Device

Screenshot of Broadcastify iPhone police scanner app

 Jerri Collins

What We Like

  • Feeds with active alerts are easy to find

  • Supports lots of areas

  • Can browse for feeds around you or in any location in the world

  • Shows the newest feeds and the top 25

  • Several ways to listen, like through iTunes, a phone, or your web browser

What We Don't Like

  • Feed archives and no ads are only available through a premium account

  • Shortcodes used by police are not displayed in the app

More than 6,000 live audio streams are available at Broadcastify, with feeds not only from police radios but also public safety, aircraft, rail, and marine live audio streams.

Scanner broadcasts are categorized into sections like Top 50 Live Audio Feeds, Latest 50 Feed Additions, and Official Feeds so that you can easily navigate to what you might be looking for. There's also a Browse by Location page to find police scanners and other streams in your area.

Broadcastify users also have the opportunity to broadcast their own stream.


Most, if not all of the police scanner apps in this list are streams from Broadcastify. What makes the apps different is the options and features they let you tinker with.

of 04

Police Scanner: Record Police Feeds From Thousands of Locations

Screenshot of the Police Scanner app for iPhone

 Jerri Collins 

What We Like

  • Has police feeds from all over the world

  • You can record snippets from the radio

  • Will start or stop a feed based on a timer

  • The interface can be customized (e.g., change the background image or hide buttons and labels)

  • Custom police scanner feeds can be added to the app by URL

  • You can share the feed URL with others where they can listen in a web browser

What We Don't Like

  • Lots of ads, including pop-up ads

  • Doesn't explain what the codes mean that police officers use

This police scanner for iPad and iPhone not only connects you to over 40,000 feeds but also lets you record what you hear and play it back later.